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Category: Interesting or Cool

Babycastles

Babycastles

Babycastles is a New York nonprofit that is a mish-mash of Maker, Indie developer, and art communities. They create interesting and unique art/gaming installations – such as this Pacman version that runs on all 5 surfaces of a room. Check out their other strange and quirky projects.

Own a Lamborghini today – only €300,000

Own a Lamborghini today – only €300,000

The real question when you were a 80’s kid is if you had a Lamborghini, or a Porsche poster on your wall.

I was a Lambo guy – because…well – it was the most amazing looking car ever. I have driven a modern Lamborghini at the Portland International Raceway, but they don’t hold a candle to the 80’s babies for the unique flash and flare they created at the time.

Imagine my delight when a 1991 Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary edition is going up for sale on Sotheby’s – for an estimated €250.000 – €300.000

Sadly, they were one of the least driver friendly cars ever – here’s a modern review of exactly this make and model. My favorite part is what you have to do in order to back up (see 9:20 in the video).

No reserve, so get your bids in today and take advantage of the very favorable US to British Pound conversion rate.

Ex-Facebook exec ‘deeply regrets’ what he helped create

Ex-Facebook exec ‘deeply regrets’ what he helped create

Videos of more social media site creators and executives speaking out directly against what they created. They call for each person to awaken to how they can ‘program’ you and that each person should make a conscious effort to limit their use of them. Here’s what Chamath Palihapitiya, former Facebook VP, has to say now:

“People need to hard break from these tools. The short-term dopamine driven feedback loops we have created are destroying how society works. No civil discourse, no cooperation, misinformation, mistrust. Bad actors can now manipulate large swaths of people to do anything they want. … You do not realize it, but you are now being programmed.”

Here’s from Sean Parker, former Facebook President:

“You’re exploiting a vulnerability of human psychology. The inventors, creators, understood this – consciously – and we did it anyway.”

I encourage you to go to TimeWellSpent and my previous article on this subject on how we can be aware of how these systems can be harmful to you emotional wellbeing and limit the more damaging influences of social media.

Astronomical clock in Prague sees 600 years in 10 minutes

Astronomical clock in Prague sees 600 years in 10 minutes

The Macula gives the astronomical clock situated at Old Town Square in center of Prague their usual augmented treatment on it’s  600 years anniversary.

Considering I was just there last week, I found this kind of fun.

Travel for Work

Travel for Work

When you’re in college, many people fantasize about getting a ‘travel job’. Well, now that I’m in my 40’s, I’ve done a lot of business travel over the years. Most of the time I have at least one overseas trip a year – sometimes two. I also have any number of domestic flights – maybe 5-10. That’s about the max I’m happy with. It seems very romantic to travel for work, but in the end, it’s really work you’re there to do. You might get a few hours a night after work – but that’s not the time many things are open – or the sun even up if it’s winter.

There were times, however, when I was flying once every week for months on end. That is a completely different thing. You start entering this different state of living – a sort of half-living in an altered state. You waking wherever you are with just what fits in a day pack, run to an airport, parking and security, flying somewhere, eating airplane and hotel food, then perhaps catch a brief nap while flying. Then you wake again – on a plane this time – what city? What time zone? Then collect your stuff and unload, rental car and transit to the site where your day really starts. Work 8 hours with new folks while the clock ticks on you until it’s time to leave for the airport or maybe a hotel. Everything is institutional and commercial – with fancy designer metal, leather, 800 count bed sheets and hotel restaurant food – all pretending to be like a home. Maybe you work another day, then it’s in the rental, return to the airport and figure out returns. Getting to the terminal, security, and a flight back home. Another brief chance at rest before you unload as you awake – where again? What time? Collect things, unload, take airport transit to your car, then home. Home? Is it just another room?

One of the best clips that captures the experience is from the movie Fight Club:

But now there is a new player. The video for the song ‘Let It Happen’ by Tame Impala does another great job. It appears to be about a business traveler that is having a heart attack, but it captures that constant sense of going to sleep and not knowing where you’ll wake up next. I found it fascinating. I think there is something interesting here that might make for a good writing/art project…

Remove objects from your videos

Remove objects from your videos

Adobe Photoshop has an amazing feature called context aware fill. But it was only available on still images. Now you can do it with video. While I do see a small tick here or there, it does a pretty good job with temporal smoothness.

Intel will ship processors with integrated AMD graphics

Intel will ship processors with integrated AMD graphics

From the Ars Technica article:

Intel has announced the 8th-generation H-series mobile processors will have a feature that’s nothing short of astonishing: they’ll integrate AMD GPUs.

The chip package will contain multiple pieces of silicon: an Intel CPU, a custom-built AMD Radeon GPU, and stacked second-generation High Bandwidth Memory (HBM2). Connecting the GPU and its memory is Intel’s new “Embedded Multi-Die Interconnect Bridge” (EMIB), a high-speed, short-range interconnect that Intel has designed to join different chips within a single package. Intel says that EMIB enables the creation of faster, thinner packages, enabling the multi-chip module to fit into slimline laptop form factors.

EMIB uses pieces of silicon to join the chips, rather than the circuit board traces found in conventional multi-chip modules. These pieces of silicon enable much denser packing of the interconnects. Overall, Intel claims that using EMIB shaves about 2.9 square inches (1,900 square millimeters) from the system motherboard and halves the power usage of a traditional design.


The company anticipates using EMIB for all kinds of integrations, such as processors with embedded FPGAs or other specialized chips. This AMD integration will be a good showcase for using the technology at scale. For AMD, it gives access to a market that tended to lean on Nvidia. Single-chip integrated graphics, even those found in AMD’s newly announced mobile Ryzen parts, just don’t offer the same performance as discrete parts with dedicated memory.

Mornington Crescent

Mornington Crescent

British humor can be pretty thick stuff at times, but boy can it can pay off.

For example, Mornington Crescent is an improvisational game featured in the BBC Radio 4 comedy panel show I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, a series which satirizes panel games. The game consists of each panelist in turn announcing a landmark or street, most often a tube station on the London Underground system. The apparent aim is to be the first to announce “Mornington Crescent“, a station on the Northern line. Interspersed with the turns is humorous discussion among the panelists and host regarding the rules and legality of each move, as well as the strategy the panelists are using. Despite appearances, however, there are no rules to the game, and both the naming of stations and the specification of “rules” are based on stream-of-consciousness association and improvisation. Thus the game is intentionally incomprehensible.

 

It also appears to be an inspiration to the Mitchell and Webb series game NumberWang:

AR Dragons fly around the stadium at LoL World championships

AR Dragons fly around the stadium at LoL World championships

Yesterday was the final clash of the 2017 League of Legends World Championships. Before the games started, Riot Games put on a massive opening ceremony including a giant trophy, a live performance of Worlds theme “Legends Never Die,” and a freaking dragon.

During the ceremony, an augmented reality dragon flew in, soared around the arena, and let out a good roar before taking off again. Apparently it was a little awkward for the fans in attendance because, well, they can’t see it. Which means you’re looking at one of the stream feeds on the giant screens instead of the live performers and spectacle that’s happening in the corporeal world.

Still, this sets a new bar. I wonder when we’ll be donning AR glasses at concerts and sporting events.